5 Natural Sweeteners to Add to Your Diet

Do you want to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding empty calories or chemicals to your diet?

If so, you may want to try natural sweeteners.

That’s because even though you may love the taste of sugar, studies have shown that too much can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. This is especially true if the sugar doesn’t come from a natural food source, such as fruit.

natural sweeteners - maple syrup

And even though it’s common sense to avoid too much refined sugar in your diet, there’s still debate about the safety of replacements such as saccharin and aspartame based artificial sweeteners, which some believe could pose even more of a health risk.

So get more nutrition and less artificial stuff in your diet by trying natural sweeteners. Just remember, though, everything in moderation…

5 Natural Sweeteners Without the Nasty Chemicals

1. Honey

Honey is a natural superfood containing a multitude of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Manuka honey in particular is thought to have special antibacterial properties, which may help fight off colds and prevent gingivitis.

Honey is also known to help reduce anxiety, and treat indigestion. It’s one of the best natural sweeteners to use in nearly any bread or pastry recipe, and its high carbohydrate content makes it a perfect post-workout snack.

Related Article: Health Benefits of Honey

2.  Agave Nectar

One of the more popular natural sweeteners is agave nectar, which is extracted from the cactus-like agave plant. It works well in place of sugar in beverages such as herbal tea or homemade lemonade, and can also be used as a breakfast syrup.

Because of its low glycemic index, agave nectar will not cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels. However, use with caution, as it has high levels of fructose (fruit sugar) which have been linked to increasing levels of Type 2 Diabetes, and so is best used sparingly.

3.  Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is made from sap extracted from the coconut tree. Its flavor is often compared to brown sugar with a hint of caramel, so it works well as a substitute for sugar in desserts.

Manufacturers of coconut sugar claim that it is a low glycemic food, and so it takes longer for the digestive system to break it

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